Aandavan Kattalai (TAMIL)

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Starring: Vijay Sethupathy, Ritika Singh, Yogi Babu, Nasser and many more
Editing : Anucharan
Music : K
Cinematography : Shanmuga Sundaram
Directed by: Manikandan

After the super success of ‘Kaaka Muttai‘ and ‘Kutrame Thandanai‘, director Manikandan returns with Vijay Sethupathi to give us this film. In a short span of time his two movies have released and Vijay is having an excellent time in the industry with this being his fifth movie. Lets see how this new pairing has shaped up this movie.

Gandhi (Vijay Sethupathi) comes to Chennai to get passport and visa along with his friend Pandi (Yogi Babu) to settle down in London in order to clear their debts. They approach middlemen to get tourist visa and provide fake names under the spouse section. Pandi successfully clears the visa process, Gandhi does not and decides to settle down as an accountant in a theater group owned by (Nasser). Gandhi gets a chance to goto London along with the troupe and in order to maintain his image, Gandhi tries to take out the fake spouse name ‘Karmega Kuzhali’ and to his luck he finds a journalist (Ritika Singh) with the same name and approaches her to help him out. What happens next forms the rest.

Right from the start of the movie (the awareness message is the core of the plot), the 80’s style of title credits and till the end ‘Subam’ card the film is a laughathon (except few thriller kinda serious tone towards the pre-climax). Manikandan has shown his versatility over his all three films and its tough to choose which genre he fits best. Moreover the film does not give a movie tone feel and looks absolutely real and natural. The wafer line script is backed full by strong screenplay where how one lie leads to another and to another to turn against the situation.

The movie is null without its strong and long cast. Vijay Sethupathi is consistent and here he is quiet natural and makes us feel for him every time when he faces some irk. Yogi Babu, take a bow bro. He steals the show with his quirky one liners and comic expressions, the first half completely belongs to him. Ritika Singh proves her acting talent in a completely different role showing that she too can act and emote. The actor playing Srilankan refugee brings life and he deserves the highest praise for his portrayal. Nassar, Pooja Devariya, George, Vinodhini, Singampuli and all other players are uniformly good.

Next big plus is the crew. K’s music is pleasant and all the songs are like small plays for every situation of the movie and reflects the person’s emotions. The camera work of Shanmugha Sundaram is in sync with director’s scene creation. The choice of Anucharan (director of the thriller ‘Kirumi‘) as editor puzzled me but he has shown why he is best for this film with his slow and simple cuts. Though the movie tends to move slow it’s not boring as it often offer things to us. Manikandan has covered all relevant issues including greedy house owners, plight of Sri Lankan refugees, divorces, money milking passport brokers and how they trap innocent people for their own good without being too loud and has woven all within the tight screenplay and ensured he has got it out well with his casting which is picture perfect. He gets another feather in his cap and this is a must watch for all ardent movie buffs..!! 🙂

Dont Breathe (ENGLISH)

dont-breathe-posterI rarely watch English movies because most of the movies will be of superheroes or else some special power related. Rarely films come either of horror or thriller genre and one such edge of the seat thriller is this film. As rightly mentioned in the title the film does not even allow you to breathe as well as the actors in it to breathe. So there are minimal dialogs and most of the movie just moves in silence and just plain background music.

Rocky plans to rob a house with her boyfriend Money and her friend Alex. They plan to rob the house of a retired army person who is also blind who has stock of money with him. They sketch out the plan and sneak into the house. When the blind person gets up from sleep and they get trapped inside and the entire situation becomes dangerous for the trio.

This movie is a super suspense thriller. While the film manages to smartly get back on its feet, it is clear the director got greedy and extended past its ideal running time. The movie is backed by clever camerawork mainly in the scenes happening in basement. Make sure you get some popcorn and seated up for this roller coaster thriller ride but mind it – Don’t Breathe..!! 🙂

Irumugan (TAMIL)

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Starring: Vikram, Nayanthara, Nithya Menon, Nasser, Thambi Ramaiah and many more
Editing : Bhuvan Srinivasan
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Cinematography : RD Rajasekhar
Directed by: Anand Shankar

Vikram does a dual role. I was surprised on hearing this. Yes he has not done a dual role in his long career. He might have performed various roles and even dual variations but all that was in a single role and not as two separate roles. Anand Shankar has got the opportunity to direct him in dual roles. Lets see whether he has outlived the expectations.

Indian embassy in Malaysia is attacked by Love (Vikram) and the intelligence team seeks the help of Akilan (Vikram), who is on a sabbatical, to take control of the situation. Four years back, Akilan had destructed the underworld drug mafia of Love and finished him off, paying a huge price of losing his wife Meera (Nayanthara). Love who is still alive, gains back momentum and uses a drug called Speed in the form of an inhaler through which one’s energy gets multiplied that they almost become strong and uncontrollable for five minutes. As Akilan has an unsettled business with Love, he accepts to take up the mission and flies to Malaysia with his fellow RAW agent Ayushi (Nithya Menon). What happens next is rest.

The first half of the film is a roller-coaster ride with well etched out action sequences and a brilliant twist in the interval. But the movie slows down in the second and misses to utilize the concept of Speed well. The narrative lacks intensity and pace and unfolds rather blandly. Vikram is the sole reason for which the movie can be watched and he does not disappoint and keeps us entertained throughout. Nayanthara has a substantially good role and she is a big plus for the movie and we cannot imagine any other actress carry that role with so much style, elan and attitude.

Nithya Menon plays a role which can be performed by anyone else too. Thambi Ramaiah as the bungling cop succeeds in evoking very little laughter and is upstaged by many illogical scenes in the second half that provide unintentional comedy. Rajasekhar’s crystal clear cinematography adds plus to the film and he has captured the locations well. Bhuvan could have trimmed the film a bit. Harris’s songs are runaway hit and his BGM’s are okayish for an action film and nothing much to say.

Anand Shankar, who gave the highly promising ‘Arima Nambi‘, has tried to mix science with fiction and he has managed to reach the near pass mark. By having a very strong hero he has literally managed to create the needed buzz of the hour. But still he could have taken care of the logic a bit and could have altered the screenplay in a bit the second half is as engaging as first. Despite its commercial constraints, it turns out to be a fast-paced, no-nonsense movie laced with chemistry and history lessons on drugs..!! 🙂

Kutrame Thandanai (TAMIL)

kutrameStarring: Vidharth, Aishwarya Rajesh, Pooja Devariya, Nasser, Rahman and many more
Editing : Anucharan
Music : Ilayaraja
Cinematography and Directed by: Manikandan

Manikandan’s debut flick ‘Kaaka Muttai‘ earned him very good name and thus his second film naturally gathered more expectation. But this film was started much before his first film and it has been released now as his second film. Even before the theatrical release the film has garnered many awards in film festivals across the country. Lets see what the film is about.

Ravi (Vidharth), is a credit card due collector who suffers from tunnel vision and doctors tell him that eye transplantation is the only remedy for which he needs a huge amount. Meanwhile Ravi has the habit of looking his opposite house where Swetha (Aishwarya) stays and he finds that she moves closely with her boss Vijay Prakash (Rahman) and a rich youngster Arun. One fine day, Ravi notices Vijay Prakash looking tensed in front of Swetha’s house and asks him to open the door to find out that she was murdered. Using Swetha’s murder, Ravi gets the monetary gain from both the murder suspects, Arun and Vijay Prakash. Does his need for surgery is fulfilled.? Who is the real murderer forms the rest.

Writers Manikandan and Anand Annamalai have come up with a near flawless script which on the surface is a thrilling murder mystery. The director has kept the narration simple without any unnecessary drama and the situations and the characters appear real. Showing what is tunnel vision and utilizing that in a movie is superb which needs special mention. Film moves slow which suits well for the mystery and run time of under 100 minutes keeps us glued to the screen.

Vidharth as the common man fighting a rare disease is simply outstanding and this film has rediscovered him as an actor. He uses his body language more than anything to express his nature. Pooja has underplayed herself whose minute expressions and reactions are a delight to watch. Rahman is quite good as the rich boss. Aishwarya plays the girl who is the center of the story and emote well. Ilayaraja hooks us with his haunting score and it is the best work of the ace composer. Apart from his command over film making, Manikandan’s cinematography is beautiful to watch on big screen. The idea of showing the tunnel vision of the protagonist is brilliant and the crisp cut by editor Anu Charan is another big plus.

With its mature and unconventional take on a crime scene, and the feel it provides which is of international level and sensibility, Kuttrame Thandanai does Tamil cinema proud and it is clearly showing us the way ahead..!! 🙂

Akira (HINDI)

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Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Konkana Sen Sharma, Anurag Kashyap, Amit Sadh and many more
Editing : Sreekar Prasad
Music : Vishal-Shekhar    Background Score : John Stewart
Cinematography: RD Rajasekhar
Directed by: AR Murugadoss

ARM’s previous history in Hindi shows us he has done 2 of his own remakes which was runaway hit and this time too he has taken a remake but not of his own film but from a different directors. But he has changed the main core of the movie which is projecting the story in the point of heroine not on the hero like how the original was set. Lets see how he has changed and whether that has helped the movie or not.

Akira (Sonakshi Sinha) stays in Jodhpur with her family. Her life changes when a local rowdy throws acid on a girl’s face. Affected by this, her father helps her in learning the art of self-defense. Akira turns rebellious and takes revenge of that guy and she is sent to children person for this. After 14 years she moves to Mumbai with her brother and studies in a college and stays in hostel. She gets ragged and she gives them a fitted reply to all of them. On the other hand, Govind Rane (Anurag Kashyap), is a corrupt ACP. He rules his own police his three disciples. Incidentally, these four police officers come across an accident on their duty which changes their lives forever. Akira and Govind are dealing with their own mess but what leads them two to cross paths is the entire mystery. Rabiya Sultan (Konkona Sen Sharma), a SP of Crime Branch, is appointed to solve that mystery. What happens to the mystery and these 3 forms the story.

Based on the Tamil original ‘Mounaguru‘, Murugadoss has altered the movie by changing the gender of the lead and just added the first few minutes to tell why she learnt the martial arts. Apart from this everything else was scene-by-scene remake which has spoiled the movie. ARM could have added his own touch to this plot and could have given a bit crisper. The basic premise of the film is appealing and has good scope to keeps one’s interest intact in the film. The first half takes its time to settle until the middle part of the film. The tempo goes down again in the second half of the film and moves on a snail pace.

Sonakshi Sinha has done a decent job in this film. She performs her best in the emotional scene when she elopes from the mental asylum and tries to convince her family. She delivers the action part with ease. Anurag Kashyap as the Police is impressive and does justice to his character, making one sufficiently accept his unethical ways. RD Rajasekhar has beautifully captured Mumbai throughout the film. BGM fits the bill well. ARM has astutely dealt with the subject with no major deviation. It stars with a promise of being a good action thriller but ends up being a decent action drama which had all potential to become a taut film..!! 🙂

Pelli Choopulu (TELUGU)

Pelli-Choopulu-Posters-5Starring: Vijay Deverakonda, Ritu Varma and many more
Editing : Ravi Teja
Music : Vivek Sagar
Cinematography: Nagesh Banell
Directed by: Tharun Bhascker

This film is the one which has created a lot of buzz off late. Even I planned plenty of times to watch this but due to subtitle which was not offered during weekends I had to keep skipping this. But recently got to see this film as they made subtitles available for all days. Thank god that I watched a Telugu movie which was packed full of family. Lets see what the film is about.

Prashanth (Vijay) is aimless and currently jobless in life. His father arranges for a marriage for him and he agrees to meet Chitra (Ritu). On the day of the match making, Prashanth, Chitra and a small boy are stranded in a room, thanks to the door that gets jammed, where they were asked to talk to each other. Prashanth and Chitra talk about each other where each one talks about their past and finally Chitra tells Prashanth that she is not ready for marriage and due to her dad’s pressure she agreed to this. By the end of the conversation, they have bared their hearts, enough to become empathetic towards each other.  In come elders, who announce that they are at the wrong place. The rest is about how Prashanth decides to move on, while Chitra has other plans for themselves.

The movie has no path-breaking story line, but what makes it a cut above the rest is its nuanced narration, and neat sensibilities. Screenplay of the film is excellent in the first half. Tharun should be appreciated for making a film that has a strong female character and that deals with parents and kids issue. In fact everything has worked well for the movie right from the simple presentation of casual things happening in the house. The second half could have done away with some run time. The proceedings slow down here.

The film ultimately belongs to Vijay Devarakonda and Ritu Varma. Vijay lives his part of an affable guy who needs to be asked to doing something worthwhile. It’s tough to think of anyone else in Ritu Varma’s role. She delivers a confident act as a career-oriented woman. Hero’s two friends are ultimate cracker who supports the film very well. All the character artistes do a very good job. Vivek Sagar’s music has hummable songs and a spot-on background score that elevates the film. Nagesh Banell’s cinematography makes the film more cuter. Production values are superb as the film looks quite rich.

A mature rom-com that can entertain both youngsters and elders. Fine performances, neat dialogue, situational humor – you name it and the movie has all. Tharun Bhascker’s effortless direction makes this film take another leap in terms of story telling. This is one film which comes as a breath of fresh air in the heavy pollution of commercial cinema. After a long time felt happy seeing a feel good beautiful movie. Thanks to Tharun. Dont miss it..!! 🙂